It would be nice if working or not working could be a choice for every woman or mom, but the cost of everyday living gets in the way and as costs rise for food and utilities, more women than ever are having to work outside the home.
Wouldn’t it be wonderful to be able to decide to stay home without having to worry about how you are going to eat or pay the bills? In fact, wouldn’t it be nice to even be able to work from home and have the best of both worlds? Sure it would, and if you are willing to put some principles into action, you may very well be able to stay at home with your children. Did I say it would be easy? No, but the rewards are well worth the struggles you may have in the beginning. In fact, I had to stay home because of an illness in the beginning but now I would not go back and work for someone else for any amount of money!
The money saving tips and ideas that are in this article aren’t just for moms who want to stay home either. They will work for anyone woman who wishes to be a homemaker or home business owner. Most businesses don’t make a fortune the first year so you need to be frugal.
Many of my tips are common sense, and eventually, you may have figured these things out by yourself, but you will be saving money a lot faster if you know them right from the get-go.
I’m going to share the first steps with you on how I saved $275 the very first month after I quit my job. And that was just the start. I was lucky because I didn’t have daycare expenses either. If that had been the case, I would have saved hundreds more, just by staying at home.
And after saving money you can go even further if you choose. After my first year at home I was able to start my own business, another story I can’t wait to share with you. Now I can easily supplement my husband’s income from home. I can’t tell you how great it is to be able to stop when I want, throw in a load of clothes, or even put a pot roast on for dinner that night!
Frugality is a word that people associate with being poor, or doing without. However, frugality can actually help you live a better life with more money, and it frees you from some of the stress of daily living.
There are some people that take frugality to the extreme by not turning on the lights at night, or not buying anything just for fun. That’s being a little bit ridiculous! Having said that, it is important to understand that most people buy or waste money on things they could very well do without.
To me frugality is just being smart with your money, and making it go a lot farther. I quit my job many years ago to stay at home and have never looked back. Being frugal (common sense) has helped me to continue the same lifestyle I had when I worked, but without all the stress.
Frugality Frees Finances
The first thing I did was sit down and take a look at the things that were expenses every single month. If you feel your paycheck is being eaten up and you wonder where all the money goes, this exercise will be a real eye-opener for you. I discovered right away that I was spending almost $300 per month just on phones, the Internet, and satellite. I know that some people spend even more, but to me, that was just too much. So my first goal in being able to stay at home was to cut expenses that weren’t really necessary. You will be surprised how much you are spending on nonessential things.
My first step was to call the phone company and bundle the satellite, the Internet, and phone. This saved me a bunch of money right off the bat. With this under my belt, I was excited to see what else I could cut back on. It is amazing what we spend money on! I can’t pretend to know what you are making per hour, but if you figure your time at say $12 per hour, then figure up how many hours you would have to work to pay for some of those things you take for granted. Wouldn’t those hours be better spent at home with your children?
After a little more investigation I was able to cut back even more on the bundle because I joined a movie program called Netflix. They either send you all the movies in a month you want to watch for just one low monthly fee or allow you to sign up for streaming movies right to your TV. No late fees ever and they even pay the postage. I think it’s around $10 per month for their streaming service. Needless to say, I cut out all those extra movie channels I was paying for! I was determined to get rid of anything I didn’t need in the beginning and this was a good first start.
Because I was so new to learning how to save money my first thoughts turned to all those women you read about who buy a whole basket of groceries for pennies. We always hear a lot about coupons when anyone is talking about saving money at home, and to be honest I was NOT a coupon user, at least not until I wanted to stay home so bad I was willing to try anything! However, I never used them to the extreme of some of those coupon queens.
There was no way I was going to spend 30 hours a week clipping coupons. I found that coupons will not save you the most money in your new quest to stay at home, but they are a great tool to help you toward the goal. When I first started using coupons it was by reading the grocery store flyers that I would get in my mail box. I soon learned of places online where you can just print coupons out. It was amazing, and I found myself really saving money. Even though using coupons can save you some money, it’s not going to be the best savings you will come up with. You may only save $50 to $75 a month with coupons, but don’t discount that because all you have to do is find 5 or 10 ways to save $50 a month and you are making some serious headway.
Let me just say that using coupons just for the sake of using coupons is not good. Many store generic brands are even cheaper than buying the name brand with a coupon. In two years I have only found one store brand item that didn’t taste as good as the name brand. Trust me, you are paying for the brand name. I know that in some states double coupons are offered in grocery stores and that can really save you money too.
Remember, I was new to trying to cut the budget, and coupons and so cutting down the bills was only the first thing I discovered. I’ll be frank with you; I saved the most money on the food and utility bills. You may think of other ways, but I knew that I was wasting a lot of money at the grocery store.
Saving On Fuel
Another expense in my life was fuel for my car. My husband and I live in the country so running down to the corner store was out of the question. Saving on fuel cost was an automatic saving for me when I quit work because I wasn’t driving the 40 miles round trip any longer. This savings was really nice, but in the beginning of my days at home, I found myself making trips to town, or going to see friends.
Experiencing this freedom was costing me money. It is easy to get caught up in being home and feeling free, but if you are not careful it will cost you money. Finally, my best friend and I came up with a solution to this problem. We now go to town only one day per week. One week I’ll drive, the next week she drives. All errands, grocery buying, and anything else we want to do is done that day. We simply take an ice chest with us and head on out for the day! This keeps the gasoline bill for your vehicle to almost zero.
On the day we go to town each week the route is planned before we head out so that we can use as little fuel as necessary. Our errands are lined up in the correct order and we head out. This may seem like a small thing, but the truth is that most things you can do to save money start out small. However, in the end, they add up to a large amount of savings!
Already in my adventure, I was saving approximately $135 per month on fuel, $50 on the phone bundling, and $90 on food! That’s $275! The good news is that I figured out a way to get the food bill down a lot more, and we ate even better. The year I quit work fuel was almost $4 per gallon. It’s not quite that high now.
These tips are just the beginning of how I started cutting cost from my budget. Subscribe to the newsletter so you will know when new blog post become available. You don’t want to miss any of these money saving techniques.